U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced the selection of Sreeram Venkat ‘17 of Morrisville, North Carolina, as a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Venkat is one of 161 high school students recognized nationally from among 5,100 candidates invited to apply.
Presidential Scholars demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. The 2017 Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington, D.C., June 18-20.
“I congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Today’s Presidential Scholars are tomorrow’s leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”
The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Since 1983, each U.S. Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Venkat chose to recognize Darrell Spells, chemistry instructor at NCSSM.
Fellow seniors who were named semifinalists as Presidential Scholars were Julia Gao, Raymond Gao, Ryan Steed, and Ana Sofia Uzsoy.